June 2014

Endless Summer: On the Verge of the Sixth Extinction

June 30, 2014 by Jim Miller

sixth extinction“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’ve seen a lot of bad news lately from the dismaying results of our last local election and a slew of reactionary court decisions at the state and national level to the re-emergence of the chaos in Iraq and the seemingly daily news reports of growing evidence that our widening level of economic inequality is becoming an entrenched and sadly taken-for-granted part of our new normal.

Even as we head into the heedless days of summer, we are greeted by yet more studies …

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BREAKING NEWS: City Council Hearing on OB Community Plan to Be Postponed

June 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

At the 11th Hour, Coastal Commission Makes 43 Recommended Changes to OB Plan

The San Diego City Council Hearing on the OB Community Plan scheduled for Monday, June 30th, will be postponed to as yet an unknown date.

Councilman Ed Harris’ office was notified by the Mayor’s Office late on Friday afternoon that due to a brand new, 11th hour submission of 43 recommended “modifications” to the Plan by the staff of the California Coastal Commission, the Mayor will be seeking a continuance – or postponement – of the hearing slated for 2pm. It needs to be postponed in order to allow City staff sufficient time to evaluate the recommendations and make a response. …

COME INSIDE FOR THE MEMO …

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Even Tourists Are Coming Out in Favor of the OB Community Plan

June 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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(Hat tip to Wayne and Judith Starker)

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Fun and Games at the OB Town Council

June 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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You never know what you’ll learn or see at a OB Town Council meeting until you’re actually there. And this was true last Wednesday night at their monthly meeting as usual.

Nearly 60 people gathered in the Masonic Center to get in on the action of the Town Council that night. With 4 TV stations present for the marshmallow controversy, there was a certain tension in the air as President Gretchen Newsom gaveled the meeting to order. The marshmallows and the OB Community Plan were the big ticket items on the agenda, but there was lots else going on – not to mention the upcoming 35th Annual OB Street Fair.

OB Firefighters and Para-Medics Have Warnings

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Watching With the Enemy: US – Germany World Cup Match at Kaiserhof

June 27, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

The biggest question is, Why? Why watch the big World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at Kaiserhof, the long-standing Ocean Beach biergarten and general German fan meeting place?

Like the idea of climbing so many mountain tops and starting so many world wars, I countered with, Why not? When I came up with this hare-brained idea, …

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New OB Planning Board Chair Has Found His Groove

June 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Pete Ruscitti, the new chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, has truly found his groove in heading up the local community planners. With a Masters in Public Policy and a number of internships with public agencies dealing with issues of planning and transportation under his belt, he is a currently a transportation planner for the firm he works for, Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Pete is certainly a policy guy. Urban planning is where his heart is – this is what he wants to do. Pete’s meteoric rise on the Board Board for OB has been noticeable. …

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Final Push Is On for Petition Drive in Support of the OB Community Plan

June 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OB planners and their supporters are in a final push in the petition drive in support of the OB Community Plan. Petitioners have gathered about 1700 signatures at this point, announced Gio Ingolia at the OB Town Council meeting last night, June 25th.

Petitioners will be out in force at OB’s Street Fair this Saturday, June 28th. It’s the 35th anniversary of the OB annual event. Petitions will be available throughout the Fair, including at the OBTC Chili Cookoff booth, at the OB Mainstreet Association booth, at the OB Historical Society table, and at the Point Loma Democratic Club booth.

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Momentum Grows for End to OB’s Marshmallow Wars – Newport Avenue Merchants Pledge to Limit Marshmallow Sales on July 4th

June 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Momentum Grows for End to OB’s Marshmallow Wars – Newport Avenue Merchants Pledge to Limit Marshmallow Sales on July 4th

It appears that the campaign to end OB’s marshmallow wars is gaining momentum. The campaign – led and organized by the OB Town Council – centers on a “Mallow Out” pledge effort to not use or buy marshmallows on the national holiday. It was announced at last night’s OBTC meeting that Newport Avenue merchants have promised to limit marshmallow sales on July 4th.

As the Town Council volunteers gather their pledges, Councilman Ed Harris has come out in support of their effort. His community rep, Chet Barfield, informed the audience at the OBTC meeting. Harris wrote a letter to local OB businesses, Barfield said to get them to cut down on bulk sales of marshmallows. Harris’ office, he also stated, is working to get city street sweeper trucks to be out in force along the beach right after the OB Fireworks end in an attempt to dissuade any marshmallow revelry.

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San Diego Case at Center of US Supreme Court Ruling that Bars Police Search of Cellphone Without Warrant

June 25, 2014 by Staff
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A San Diego case is at the middle of a historic ruling today by the U.S. Supreme Court on privacy rights with regards to cell phones.

In unanimous vote, the Court ruled that police officers may not search a cell phone of a criminal suspect without a warrant. Commentators called this “a big, big win for civil libertarians and privacy rights.”

The San Diego case was David Riley’s – and of the 2 cases before the Court – it attracted the most attention by the Justices.

Riley – a college student – had been arrested in 2009 for having an expired vehicle registration and driving with a suspended license. His car was impounded, and police found loaded weapons under the hood. Riley was arrested again.

This time police grabbed his smartphone and downloaded info from it.

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One Day Left to Protest Sale of Alcohol at the Future OB CVS Pharmacy

June 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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No One Has Filed Complaint Yet – June 26th Is Deadline

By Tony de Garate

The final hours are winding down on a 30-day period to protest an application to sell beer, wine and spirits at a future CVS Pharmacy at 4949 Santa Monica Ave., according to the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

June 26 is the last day ABC will allow any citizen to protest the sale of alcohol at CVS, which is planning to take over the building that has been lifeless since the departure of Apple Tree Market at the end of 2012.

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Two Jump Off OB Pier Fully-Clothed – End Up Having to Be Rescued and then Are Arrested

June 25, 2014 by Staff

Fisherman Jumps In and Saves Struggling Man

A fully-clothed couple jumped off the OB Pier around 11 pm Tuesday night. But they immediately got into trouble and started yelling for help.

A fisherman up on the pier, Paul Song, heard them, and either jumped or dove into the cold Pacific to help them. Song told 10News that when he reached the man, the guy was struggling

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Hit and Run Tragedy Outside Ocean Beach 2nd Fatality in 2 Years Next to Freeway

June 25, 2014 by Staff
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The hit and run death of Amber Schei on June 21st just outside of OB is a grim reminder that the freeway ramps are dangerous areas. Schei’s death is the second in a two year period right around the entrance and exit of I-8, including Nimitz and Sunset Cliffs.

In March of 2012, Sho Funai was also killed in a hit and run incident at OB’s entrance. The driver was eventually found, and on July 27th, she was sentenced by to one year in prison, plus the standard five years of probation.

It was a double whammy for Schei’s mother, Tammy Wilson, who had been happy as she had just returned from Afghanistan

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California Coastal Commission Now Able to Levy Fines on Property Owners Who Deny Public Access to Coast

June 25, 2014 by Doug Porter

Senate Speaker Atkins’ Budget Rider Finally Wins Power for Public Agency Protecting California Coast

By Doug Porter

California Gov. Jerry Brown was in San Diego last Friday – June 20th – for a budget signing ceremony. While much of the press coverage focused on all the backslapping and self congratulating about fiscal responsibility, a low-key rider attached to the budget bill by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins is a big victory for beach lovers.

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Glenn Greenwald in San Diego: the Leaks of Edward Snowden

June 24, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Journalist Glenn Greenwald came to town last weekend to promote his best selling book based on events surrounding former systems administrator Edward Snowden’s decision to go public with documents concerning intelligence programs run by the National Security Agency. It was a most unusual evening: part lecture, part political rally and part celebrity appearance.

Seven hundred people paid money to attend a book tour event in a theater in this day and age. His publisher set up a table in the lobby and sold hundreds of copies of “No Place to Hide.”

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OB Town Council Meeting June 25: “Mallow-Out” the Marshmallow Wars and Update on Community Plan Campaign

June 24, 2014 by Staff
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OBceans are invited to attend the next Ocean Beach Town Council meeting this Wednesday, June 25 at 7pm.

At the top of their agenda is the Town Council’s campaign to “Mallow-Out” and end the Marshmallow War.

There will also be an update on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, which goes to City Council on June 30th for consideration of approval (see below for more details on both these items).

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New OB Consignment Shop Hits the Ground Runnin’

June 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is a new consignment shop on Abbott Street these days and it appears the partners who own it hit the ground running. The Consignment Shack OB – located next to the laundry mat and where formerly Rocky’s Surf Shop existed, near the corner of Abbott and Muir, was able to move in fully blown because the partners own another larger store in La Mesa – way out there in East County.

But the partners have lived in OB for years. Nancy Fiandaca was staffing the place the other day when I visited the shop. She owns it along with Dani Fiandaca and Kelly McFall.

Nancy told me, “We’re from OB,” and she herself has lived here for 27 years.

They opened about a month and half ago and offer unusual furniture, art and household decor, particularly mid-century, vintage and “just cool stuff”, Nancy said.

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Point Loma Reader Rant: The Developer Stereotype Exists for a Reason

June 24, 2014 by Source
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By Geoff Page

Many of us have probably complained about stereotypes at one time or another because they are often too broadly and unfairly applied. But, as most of us also know, stereotypes are like that snowball that is started by rolling a small stone through the wet snow, buried in there somewhere is a bit of truth.

The stereotype I want to talk about here was what I witnessed at the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s (PCPB) monthly meeting on Thursday, June 19. This was a perfect example of the developer stereotype. And, hopefully, this little piece will help inform more people about this project, the so-called “Point Loma Village,” some of whom may not know about it and may want to. Let me give some project details first before telling my story.

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Another community whose plan is in trouble – and this time it’s Ocean Beach

June 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

Coming on the heels of the electoral defeat of the community plan for Barrio Logan in the June 3rd Primary, there’s now yet another community whose plan in trouble, and this time it’s Ocean Beach.

After a 12 year process of updating its community plan, Ocean Beach finally had a Draft Update that was supported and endorsed by every community group in the village. The OB Town Council was on board as were the merchants’ association. Plus other groups as well, like the Friends of the OB Library.

But on its way for the anticipated final approval by the City Council, the OB Community Plan ran into a roadblock: the San Diego Planning Commission.

At their May 29th hearing on the Plan, the Planning Commission – having listened to City staff endorse it, and after nearly every Commissioner praised OB’s “unique character”, turned around and …

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Peninsula Community Planning Board Puts the Brakes on “Point Loma Village”

June 23, 2014 by Source
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By Tony de Garate/ Special to the OB Rag

An architect may have been mistaken about zoning regulations when he drew up plans for a three-story, mixed-use project with 17 luxury condos and retail space in Roseville, the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) decided June 19 at its monthly meeting.

Tony Cutri, architect and vice president of Martinez + Cutri Corp., said the project provided 42 parking spaces – 11 for retail, 31 for condos. But a resident, Marian D’Angelo, said she had researched zoning ordinances and spoken to city planners who told her parking requirements were higher.

By a 9-1 vote, the board decided …

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San Diego Grit: Remembering Tony Gwynn

June 23, 2014 by Jim Miller

IMG_20140619_142336_131By Jim Miller

Tony Gwynn died last week and it stopped me. In part it was because he died too soon at 54, only four years older than me and many of my friends who grew up watching and admiring his skill as a player. As is always the case when someone who has been a part of your collective experience goes, there is a new hole in your life, that sense that something’s missing that won’t come back except as a ghost, a haunting memory.

But it was more than that. With the death of Gwynn, San Diego lost the last of his kind, a Southern California product who went to school at SDSU, came up with the Padres, and stayed here for his entire career, …

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Hit and Run Takes Life of Woman Near I-8 On-Ramp

June 21, 2014 by Source

An unidentified white woman in her twenties, was apparently killed by a hit-and-run driver early Saturday, June 21st. Her body was seen around 6:00 a.m. near the eastbound on-ramp of I-8, right off Ocean Beach.

Police said her injuries were consistent with being hit by a vehicle. If true, she is another victim in a string of San Diego hit-and-runs of late.

Her body – seen by a passing motorist – was found in pickleweed and brush in the 4600 block of Nimitz Blvd. There were no witnesses.

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Personal Statement from Frank Gormlie on Having His Email Hacked

June 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Some of OB Rag Email Contacts Stolen – As He Calls for His Former Contacts to Email Him

Yes, it is true, and at first, I sort of laughed it off, as I went ahead and changed my password to the email account that was hacked on Thursday, June 19.

But then I realized all 2300 of my email contacts were gone ! – stolen by the hacker. Hundreds of those were my OB Rag email accounts. (It was my personal yahoo email account that was hacked – not the OB Rag gmail account.)

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Surfrider Celebrates 10th Annual International Surfing Day with Free Event in Ocean Beach

June 20, 2014 by Source
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From Surfrider Foundation Press Release

Celebrate the Surfrider Foundation’s 10th Annual International Surfing Day!

The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter is teaming up with FM949 to host a free family-friendly in Ocean Beach. During the day, the Surfrider Foundation will be set up, along with a local surf school who will be offering free group lessons at 3pm and 4pm (limited spaces available), and local surfboard shapers who will be showcasing some of their boards.

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OB History: Remember Charles Collier – the True Father of Ocean Beach, His Gift to the Community, and the “Collier Park Riot”

June 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB History: Remember Charles Collier – the True Father of Ocean Beach, His Gift to the Community, and the “Collier Park Riot”

The colorful Charles Collier gave away 60 acres to Ocean Beach “for the children of San Diego” over 100 years ago. These 60 acres were carved up over time by the City, the voters and other factors.

Voters approved a school on the parkland – originally called “Collier Jr High”, now Corriera Middle School -; the YMCA came in, a church followed, …

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More on UCSD’s Che Cafe: Alumni Appeal to Save the Historic Cafe

June 20, 2014 by Source

Dear UCSD Activist Alumni,

By Monty Reed Kroopkin

ucsd alumniThe OB Rag and San Diego Free Press have published a fine article, written by the Che Cafe Collective. Please circulate it widely. OB Rag / SDFP editor, Frank Gormlie, is an alum of UCSD. Alumni of the UCSD co-ops are mounting a call for all alumni to write to the University telling them we are cancelling the “planned giving” that we previously intended to do upon our demise, until and unless they back off and treat the Che Cafe and all the co-ops with proper respect.

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Few Are Left Fighting For The Ché Cafe at UCSD

June 20, 2014 by Source

che cafe logoBy Kyle Trujillo, UCSD Undergrad

On Wednesday of finals week, June 11, I cut short a study session and hurried across campus to Scholar’s drive to the Ché Cafe Collective. I knew it as the Che. Besides, it had recently been stripped of its “collective” status. It was the first time I was going to a meeting and not a show.

As I approached the colorful building I slowed down to listen. The walls could talk. The faces of Rigoberta Menchu, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Karl Marx, former student Angela Davis, and a prowling black panther.

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Increase In C-Sections Matches Rise In Fetal Protection Efforts, Reproductive Legislation

June 20, 2014 by Source

Think you always have a choice over how to give birth? Think again.

By Michele Goodwin / AlterNet

2630317821_896fe43240_z[1]When most women become pregnant, understandably they believe the choice of how they give birth will remain theirs; whether to deliver vaginally or through cesarean surgery or where to give birth, at home or at a hospital. Decades ago, those decisions were well within the domain of pregnant patients whose reproductive liberty and autonomy interests gained constitutional recognition in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.

After all, whose body is it anyway? But what may have seemed clear-cut decades ago, is now put to the test by doctors and lower courts.

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For Once, OB Is United – Around the Community Plan

June 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Signatures in Support of Plan Close on 2,000

It’s not that often that there is unity in Ocean Beach. It’s uncommon to see every OB group and organization line up together. In fact, it’s pretty weird to see the village so united.

But it’s happening – and I saw it yesterday while collecting signatures in support of the OB Plan.

I personally witnessed individuals who haven’t spoken to one another for maybe ten years – being pals out there at the Farmers’ Market on Wednesday. The camaraderie was obvious – ‘we’re all in this together on this one’ was the unspoken sense.

As I asked passersby to sign the Petition in support of the Plan, standing out on the sidewalk with my clipboard, to a person, those who stopped and listened to my spiel ended up signing it, except one couple from Point Loma.

For once, OB is united and unified in the unqualified on-the-street endorsement of what the Community Plan stands for.

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Ché Café Served 30-Day Eviction Notice, UCSD Cites Code Violations

June 19, 2014 by Source

Statement and press release from the Ché Café Collective

che-cafe[1]By Davide Carpano, student at UCSD and member of the Ché Café Cooperative

The Ché Café, a 34-year-old student-run cooperative at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has been under attack by the administration for the past two months and was served with a 30-day notice of eviction on June 13, 2014.

The notice was given to the students and their lawyer during a meeting initiated by the University to discuss on the future of the Ché. The student members of the Ché were under the impression that this meeting was part of the informal mediation and dispute resolution process they had requested several weeks ago.

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The US Military is a Major Contributor to Global Warming

June 19, 2014 by Source

The US Military: Protecting Our Freedom While Destroying Our Planet

warispeachBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

The impact of the US military on climate change is enormous due to its excessive consumption of fuel oil. The US must spread its influence across the oil producing parts of the world in order to protect its supply of oil.

The US military consumes huge amounts of oil so that it may preserve strategic access to oil in order to get the oil it needs to preserve strategic access to oil and so on in a never ending loop. Insatiable militarism is the single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural disasters intensified by global climate change.

The US military is the largest single consumer of energy in the world. If it were a country, the Department of Defense (DoD) would rank 34th in the world in average daily oil use, coming in just behind Iraq and just ahead of Sweden.

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